Colorado Wind & Solar Forum


Overview: The Colorado Wind and Solar Forum will dive into leading edge electricity sector topics while acquainting participants with the current state market and policy situations.  The Forum includes a morning plenary featuring CO state representative, Chris Hansen, who is at the forefront of Colorado’s quickly moving energy policy landscape.  Presentations will include the national and regional market status, the CO market and policy situation, CO-specific wind and solar project case studies, CO utilities’ perspectives and innovative developments.  The day concludes by looking forward with a CO Energy Futures panel, moderated by former Governor Bill Ritter, in a discussion with CO energy leaders.  The Forum provides multiple networking opportunities including lunchtime roundtable discussions facilitated by topical experts and an evening reception. 

9:00 AM

National Wind and Solar Market Status

Moderator: Larry Flowers, G4Wind

Speaker: Mark Bolinger, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories

While state policy and venues continue to play an increasingly important role in driving new wind and solar investments, national developments are part of the big picture equation.  This session will explore current wind and solar deployment across the US as well as economic, market and technology trends. 

9:45 AM

Regional Situation

Moderator: Tom Darin, AWEA

Speaker: Lisa Hickey, Tormoen Hickey LLC

What a year it’s been across the West!  Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Washington all passed laws to go 100% clean energy before the mid-century mark. With California having the same policy, hear how public demand for more renewable energy and the political mix combined to achieve these results.  Similarities and differences state approaches to renewable will be discussed as well as what it will take to successfully implement these exciting new policies. 

10:15 AM


Keynote Address

Moderator: David Hiller, Colorado Wind for Schools

Speaker: Chris Hansen, Colorado State Legislature

Representative Hansen is a renewable energy champion and well-respected leader in the West on clean energy advances.  Join us to hear Chris’ insights into this year’s stellar legislative session that resulted in multiple wins for wind, solar and clean tech in a suite of bills signed into law. 

10:30 AM

Colorado Situation

Moderator: Kelly Nordini, Conservation Colorado

Ron Lehr, Attorney
Toby Butterfield, EDP Renewables
Justin Briggs, Black Hills
Greg Brophy, Western Way

This exciting session will discuss how political and key stakeholder leadership in Colorado continue to join forces to successfully deploy wind and solar technologies.  Environmental, utility, RE developer, and rural economic development leaders perspectives will help you walk away with a new appreciation of how Colorado gets renewable energy done!

11:00 AM

Colorado Wind for Schools

Moderator: Larry Flowers, Colorado Wind for Schools Consortium

Speaker: Jason Quinn, Colorado State University

Wind (and solar) for Schools is bringing renewable energy into k12 classrooms in Colorado and across the country.  Hear how this program is much more than just cutting-edge curriculum … and how America’s clean tech workforce is cultivated through a new crop of renewable energy leaders whom are being inspired by hands-on training. 

11:45 AM

Lunch and Table Topics

Here is your chance for a deeper dive into fifteen renewable energy topics ranging from latest technology advances to western market expansion to economic development benefits and everything in between.  Choose your table and learn and network with the experts and forum speakers!
Table Topic Details

12:00 PM

Colorado Project Case Studies

Moderator: Brian Evans, RES Americas

Eric Blank, Community Energy
John Hereford, Oakleaf Energy Partners
Randy Bachmeier, Xcel Energy

Colorado has thousands of MW of wind and solar powering homes, communities, businesses and factories … this session will explore the latest wave of new projects as the state continues to charge into the future. 

1:00 PM

Colorado Utilities Round-table

Moderator: Tom Darin, AWEA

Jake Ihle, Xcel Energy
Rob Wolaver, Tri-State
John Romero, Colorado Springs Utilities
Steve Beuning, Holy Cross

Utilities remain a key driver of new renewable energy investments. This session will explore different utility experiences and views on clean energy in their portfolios, how wind and solar resources are integrated into the system and what transmission and market developments are needed in the state and region to keep costs low and the system reliable.

1:45 PM


2:30 PM

Colorado Energy Futures

Moderator: Bill Ritter, Center for the New Energy Economy

Alice Jackson, Xcel Energy
Chris Brown (invited), Vestas
Kevin Gildea, NextEra
John Nielsen, Western Resource Advocates
Jeff Ackermann, Public Utility Commission
Zach Pierce, Governor’s Office
Duane Highley, Tri-State

Simply put: you cannot miss this one! Watch our Colorado renewable champion Gov. Bill Ritter moderate a fast-paced closing session where clean energy leaders will provide the vision for Colorado’s energy future. These experts and visionaries are only matched by Gov. Ritter’s probing questions, humor and engaging style of questioning that will leave you wanting more.

2:45 PM


Roll right to the inspiring Colorado Energy Future close-out session and network with the best … featuring 100% wind-powered beer and light snacks. 

4:00 PM